Upper Elementary Ages (9-13) Grades (4-7)
Melanie Moss and Trish Melville
As Montessori teachers, we help each of the children learn at their own pace through individualized instruction. We strive to foster a fundamental love of learning, creativity, self-expression and critical thinking skills. Our overall goal as Montessori teachers is to facilitate an environment that motivates, inspires and encourages children to discover their passion.
- The Upper Elementary classroom encompasses all subject areas like Lower Elementary, however it is more student research driven. Now that the children know how to read and write, they are more self-sufficient and independent learners.
- The children learn to cite their sources of information, and compile their research in a variety of presentation styles (essay, power point presentation, skit, demonstration, model). They present their research to the class to teach the information.
- The Upper Elementary classroom continues to use concrete manipulatives to teach abstract concepts, especially in math. However there are fewer concrete manipulatives in general because the child has learned to abstract many concepts in language. The capability to think abstractly is an intellectual hallmark for the Upper Elementary child. Still it is always best to use concrete manipulatives when introducing any abstract concept.
- We facilitate the children’s ability to think abstractly by teaching them how to critically analyze historical events. We consider the scientific method while doing experiments, and in literature we discuss inquiry-based questions (open-ended questions – answers depend on individual perception).
- The children learn time management skills, and how to complete a long-term assignment with due dates. The children plan their work each week with individual work plans. The work plans specify the work for each subject, and how many times a week to do it.
- We encourage the child’s right to choose their work as they see fit. The work plan ensures academic balance, and that no work is avoided or forgotten. Maria Montessori states, “A child needs freedom within limits.”
- The child is motivated to complete their work plan so that they may use the time remaining in the work period to explore whatever learning they are truly passionate about.
- The mixed age group offers a variety of opportunities for peer mentoring individually and within cooperative learning groups.
- We provide the children of this age group with a variety of opportunities for social interaction to develop an emotional awareness, and to teach them how to express themselves in a diplomatic manner.
- We teach the children how to solve their own social problems peacefully using conflict resolution strategies and role playing techniques.
- The children experience what it means to be a good citizen in the community by helping each other, cleaning and maintaining the learning environment and recycling to care for the Earth. They do a daily community service work for the other classrooms in our school by listening to a younger child practice reading everyday.
"An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking, it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live."
~ Dr. Maria Montessori
Education and Peace.